We sat down with a few of the specialists who make up our Asia-Pacific (APAC) team, working from our regional headquarters in Singapore, to find out three things: what they're up to, what Volocopter's plans are for the Lion City, and what challenges we face in this part of the world. Keep reading for insights, straight from the horse's (lion's?) mouth.
Here's an easy question to start: How big is the team and where is it based?
There are currently eight of us representing UAM here at Volocopter's regional APAC head office in Singapore. We deal primarily with business development, aviation certification, public relations, marketing, and human resources.
Can you describe a typical day at work?
Well, we're laying the groundwork to deploy urban air mobility for the Asian urban use case. Singapore has been confirmed as our first city for commercial launch in Asia, so our work focuses on deepening our collaborations with local stakeholders such as the Singaporean authorities and other partners. By conducting extensive market research, we seek to understand customer demands in order to create a tailored market entry plan for our scheduled launch by as early as 2025. In addition, we're exploring R&D projects with local academic institutions and cultivating collaborations with local industry representatives. As we near our scheduled launch, we plan to kickstart a public awareness-raising initiative to further increase acceptance for our innovative service in the city-state.
Thinking outside our "Singapore box," we also have plans to launch across the broader Asian region, and are making significant progress in leading this discussion with several key regional partners. We recently announced our joint venture with Geely to bring UAM to the Chinese market, and our close cooperation with Japan Airlines to explore business opportunities for advanced air mobility solutions in Japan.
What projects are you currently working on?
We just completed our first Volo2X public flight in Korea, at Gimpo Airport. This was a huge milestone for us as it represented an integral part of our business development roadmap in Asia. It was a great opportunity to demonstrate the technological prowess of our product and it strengthened our local business relations. A major event like this required a concerted team effort, and our ability to pull this off is one of the aspects we love so much about the APAC team: We help each other out and pool our energies to achieve the best possible outcome!
What would you say are the challenges of your job?
There is one constant in the urban air mobility world, and it's this: we can only launch once we've obtained all the requisite certifications and approvals. We would love to get stuck into awareness-raising campaigns for our products and double down on promoting our UAM launch. However, we need to avoid overwhelming our stakeholders, especially authorities and government bodies. Close alignment with those parties is crucial for our successful launch activities – and we want to ensure we're all on the same page when it comes to bringing urban air mobility to life in Singapore and the wider APAC region.
Can you share a fun fact about your team?
Our team is addicted to coffee - more addicted than the average person, we'd say. We need this energizing beverage to be creative. One day we arrived at our Singapore office and one of our teammates promised that the coffee in the office kitchen would improve with time. So, the whole team developed very high expectations and was looking forward to this delicious beverage. However, the coffee quality did not skyrocket, and one colleague became accustomed to the poor taste. In the future, we'll be sure to rely on our exceptional team baristas, Willy and Ryan, to make the coffee experience in our office kitchen a truly amazing one!